News: Talib Kweli Rips Adidas Slavery-Like Shackled Kicks, "Which Morons Approved These?"

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 3:45PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

New York rap veteran Talib Kweli is not keeping quiet on Adidas' upcoming, controversial JS Roundhouse Mid shoes and has publicly gone at the iconic sneaker company.

Kweli resorted to Twitter to swiftly attack Adidas for approving a product suggestive of slavery.

"WTF @adidas sneakers with SHACKLES? Which morons approved these? Do better. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160977/Adidas-unveiling-new-trainer-orange-shackles-like-worn-black-slaves.html," he tweeted June 18th.
"@NickNoir @adidas the sneakers are historically ignorant. Are their more offensive things in the world? Certainly"
"@NickNoir @adidas aggressively markets to urban. They should know better & be more sensitive. So should the artist. Wack."
"@Laxincat11 news flash. ALL should be offended by insensitivity to the slave trade, white OR black slave trade."
"@Laxincat11 newsflash- African slave trade built America & blacks twice as unemployed as whites today. Remove your head from your a**" (Talib Kweli's Twitter)

Monday (June 18), Adidas took a firm stand to defend its company's integrity.

Adidas is defending its design for sneakers with orange ankle bracelets and chains, despite criticism from bloggers and Facebook users that the shoes resemble shackles worn by African slaves. "The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery," an Adidas spokesperson said. "Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful." Jeremy Scott's past designs for Adidas have featured panda heads and Mickey Mouse. (Black Youth Project)

Tensions initially flared when a sneak peek of the kicks surfaced last week.

Last Thursday, the promotional team posted a photo of the kicks- which are expected to land in August- on its Facebook page. The problem that so many fans have taken up with the Jeremy Scott-designed shoe is not its basic functionality, but rather its design: The shoe features a bright orange, shackle-like element that many associate with slavery. Upon posting, Adidas received an influx of outraged responses from the Internet and fans everywhere. The number of comments and criticism got so bad that the brand removed its original offending post from its Facebook page. However, that doesn't eradicate the issue that the shoe still exists. (Philly)

Floods of consumers struck Adidas' Facebook page to lash out at the company.

Many users left comments on the page's bulletin board ripping the day-glo orange shackles, saying they are particularly offensive to African-Americans because they evoke imagery of slavery and prisoners on the chain gang. "Adidas, you should be ashamed of yourselves. The mockery of oppression that has not been overcome," posted Facebook user Dace Moore on the photo's bulletin board. Many users were calling for a boycott of the sneaker company. "Slavery isn't a fashion example," posted user Antonio Leche. "Everyone involved in this show should be fired ASAP! This is the new reason I won't buy any Adidas anymore!" User Kay Tee added: "It's offensive and inappropriate in many ways. Not to mention ugly." "How would a Jewish person feel if Nike decided to have a shoe with a swastika on it and tried to claim it was OK in the name of fashion?" (FOX News)

Check out a consumer's reaction to the sneakers below:

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